Facebook is having a dramatic impact on the way companies design graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for business users. At Oracle OpenWorld, both Oracle and Salesforce.com showed new screen designs that borrowed openly from the Facebook. The result is an easy-to-use, information rich tool with constant refresh and excellent collaboration.
"Facebook changes how we collaborate in our personal lives," said Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.com. "We will show you how to bring it into the enterprise."
At OpenWorld, Salesforce.com was showing off its relatively new enhancement, Chatter, which looks a lot like Facebook. Since Chatter was launched two and a half months ago, it has been rolled out in 25,000 companies, a good percentage of Salesforce.com's 83,000 customers. Customers have found an increase in collaboration, improvements in sales and a rise in productivity because users spend less time hunting for information or the right people to connect to. It has also reduce the use of email. Adoption is fast with little if any training. After all, Benioff said, Facebook has taught half a billion people how to use the application.
Good news in the Wall Street Journal that HP and Oracle have reached some agreement over Mark Hurd. It has been one of the more bemusing executive suite spats, or more accurately, boardroom spats on the HP side and Larry Ellison on the other.
As I noted in my report from Oracle OpenWorld, the two companies need each other. HP has an army of consultants around the world trained in Oracle, and it has the computers and the corporate relationships to run Oracle in the largest companies. While Oracle has developed some impressive new machines by tuning its software for Sun Solaris, Sun has been a bit on the sidelines for years now as its fate was uncertain.
Last week, I was in San Francisco attending Deutsche Bank’s 2010 Technology Conference (September 14-16).The following post is a high-level summary of my key takeaways, intended to inform you of key industry themes and changes within a brief reading (rather than a lengthy detailed vendor-by-vendor report).
Larry Ellison is not one to keep his feelings to himself. The demonstrative Oracle CEO proved that once again in an e-mail he sent to the New York Times castigating the HP board for asking Mark Hurd to step down following a sexual harassment suit and some fraudulent expense reports.
"The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago," said Ellison. "That decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."
Oracle's plans for MySQL, the open-source database that was -- to put it mildly -- a stumbling block in the company's long-delayed acquisition of Sun, are about to become a little clearer.
Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect, is set to outline the company's MySQL strategy during the keynote address at the O'Reilly MySQL Conference on April 13. According to Oracle, the talk will cover its investment in MySQL and its user communities, "and the role that open source is playing within heterogeneous customer environments around the world."
In the wake of its acquisition by Oracle, many of Sun's IT bigwigs took flight (by choice or otherwise). Today, one of them landed, as Tim Bray, Sun's former director of Web technologies, started his first day at Google. And with Google's rivalry with Apple building, it's worth noting that Bray wasted no time firing a verbal volley or two.